Ondrej Pavelec, Shane Doan, Lauri Korpikoski, Keith Yandle, Derek Morris, Eric Belanger

Riding the Zamboni – Thursday, February 17th

Boston 6, NY Islanders 3

Amidst rampant trade rumors (which turned out to be blown out of proportion), the Bruins went out and showed everyone that they are perfectly capable of dominating a game with the roster they have. Boston scored three goals in the first 9:04 and never looked back en route to snapping their 3-game losing streak. Conversely, the loss snaps the Islanders season long 4 game winning streak. If you ignore the 1st period, they didn’t really play that bad.

NY Rangers 4, Los Angeles 3 (SO)

Headline writers had a field day as King Henrik beat the Kings for his 200th career win. Twice in the 3rd period, the Rangers scored the go-ahead goal only to see the Kings respond within 2 minutes with a goal of their own. The win is the Rangers second in a row, while the OT point gives the Kings points in 11 straight.

Detroit 6, Tampa Bay 2

In a game that was billed as “Stevie Y against his Old Team,” the old team showed that they’re doing just fine without him. The #2 seed in the Western Conference took the #2 seed from the Eastern Conference behind the woodshed and reminded them they’ve been there before. After the game, Lightning coach Guy Boucher said, “This is the standard in the league. This is the best all-around team. We’ve got a ways to go to get to that level. We have two months to get there.”

I doubt he’ll get any arguments from his players.

Nashville 3, Vancouver 1

In a bit of role reversal, the Canucks saw opponents dropping like flies as Mike Fisher and Steve Sullivan were both hit in the face with a puck. Mix in Marcel Goc also leaving the game with an injury, and it was a rough night for the Predators.

But not all was bad in Nashville. Mike Fisher got his 1st goal as a Predator (and playing a good all-around game) and they were able to control the game against the NHL’s #1 team for the majority of the contest. On the plus side for Vancouver, no Canuck defensemen were injured while writing this post.

Edmonton 4, Montreal 1

What are the chances that the Montreal Canadiens were looking past this game towards this weekend’s Heritage Classic? Ales Hemsky scored the first goal of the game and added an empty-netter; which must have pleased Edmonton’s management if they’re looking to trade him before the deadline. But the best news of the night had nothing to do with hockey at all: James Wisniewski (after taking a puck off the face), “only” suffered a broken cheekbone and did not suffer a serious eye injury.

Phoenix 4, Atlanta 3

Another game, another win for the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes were able to comeback from a 3-2 deficit to earn the victory and jump to 1st place in the ever changing Pacific Division. Unfortunately for fans in Atlanta, the loss by the Thrashers was just more of the same. The loss drops the Thrashers to 3-9-4 in their last 16 games and finds them in the 10th spot in the East.

San Jose 3, Washington 2

Back-to-back games on an East Coast swing proved to be a little too much for the struggling Caps as they dropped their fourth game in their last five. Then again, they’ve now lost 11 straight at the Shark Tank–so it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise.

While the Caps have been struggling against Pacific Division opponents as of late, the Sharks have been riding a hot streak 11-2-1 in their last 14.

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    Pavelski’s late goal helps Sharks grab 2-0 series lead over Preds

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    The San Jose Sharks became the only team in the second round to jump out to a 2-0 lead in their series. The Sharks did it by beating the Predators 3-2 in Game 2 on Sunday night.

    San Jose opened the scoring in the second period when Logan Couture buried a rebound by Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Brent Burns took the initial shot from the point and extended his playoff point streak to four games.

    The Predators finally got on the board at the 12:56 mark of the third period when Mattias Ekholm tied the game at one.

    Here’s the goal:

    Nashville’s good fortune didn’t last very long. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead less than five minutes later.

    Pavelski also picked up two assists in the game. The 31-year-old has at least one point in six of his seven postseason games in 2016.

    Joe Thornton then added an empty-netter in the final minute of play before Ryan Johansen scored with four seconds remaining.

    Despite the loss, Preds head coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t too disappointed by the way his team played.

    The Predators outshot the Sharks (39-25), they outhit San Jose (46-26), but they just couldn’t outscore them.

    Like the old saying goes: “you’re not in trouble until you lose a game on home ice.” The Preds still haven’t done that, which means they’re not done yet.

    The series now shifts to Nashville for Game 3, which will be played on Tuesday night.

    Video: Marc-Edouard Vlasic saved by his visor after taking Shea Weber shot to the face

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    It’s a scary night for players getting hit in the head with pucks.

    After Brian Elliott was hit in the head by a Jason Spezza slapshot, it was Marc-Edouard Vlasic‘s turn to narrowly avoid disaster.

    In the third period of Sunday’s game against the Predators, Vlasic took a puck to the face. The end result could have been catastrophic had Vlasic not had a visor.

    You can see the incident by clicking the video at the top of the page.

    It’s nice to see that Vlasic was in a joking mood after the game:

    Hockey Twitter breathed a collective sigh of relief after Vlasic got back up:

    It sounds like Olli Maatta won’t be ready for Game 3

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    You’ve all seen it by now (if you haven’t, click the video at the top of page). Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was forced to leave Game 2 against the Capitals after taking a late hit from Brooks Orpik. Not only was the hit late, but Orpik also caught Maatta in the head.

    After the Penguins’ optional skate on Sunday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t optimistic about Maatta’s chances of playing in Game 3 on Monday night.

    “Olli’s being evaluated as we speak, so I don’t have any real update as far as his status is concerned,” Sullivan said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s being evaluated today, we’ll probably have more information in the morning.

    “I don’t have a lot of sense of his availability. I’m probably not optimistic, though.”

    After the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz stood up for his defenseman.

    “We’ll let the league handle it,” Trotz said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “If you know anything about Brooks, he plays hard, he plays clean. He’s not a dirty player.”

    And the league certainly did handle it, as they suspended Orpik for three games.

    Related:

    Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

    Brooks Orpik suspended three games for hit on Olli Maatta

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    Brooks Orpik has been suspended for three games for his hit on Olli Maatta (top). The Caps defenseman will be forced to miss Games 3, 4 and 5 of the best-of-seven series against the Penguins.

    Orpik delivered a late, high hit to Maatta in Game 2. The Penguins defenseman was wobbly getting off the ice and he was unable to return to the game.

    Here’s how the Department of Players Safety saw the play:

    “Orpik steps up to pressure Bonino, who quickly moves the puck to Maatta. Orpik peels off Bonino to pressure Maatta, who releases a shot from the top of the circle. The two continue on their path toward the goal line, as the puck is kicked into the slot. A full second after Maatta releases the puck, Orpik delivers a high, forceful hit making significant head contact. This is interference.”

    To watch the NHL’s Department of Player Safety’s full explanation, click the video below.

    This is the third time Orpik’s been suspended in his NHL career.